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Accounting System Requirements. DCAA Financial Liaison Advisors David Dawn Keith Tack CPA TACOM LCMC Small Business Fair 6/11/2013. The views expressed in this presentation are DCAA's views and not necessarily the views of other DoD organizations. Department of Defense (DoD) Organization.

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Accounting System Requirements

DCAA Financial Liaison Advisors

David Dawn

Keith Tack CPA

TACOM LCMC Small Business Fair 6/11/2013

The views expressed in this presentation are DCAA's views and not necessarily the views of other DoD organizations

defense contract audit agency
Defense Contract Audit Agency
  • Approximately 5,000 employees located at over 300 offices throughout the United States and overseas
  • Responsibilities and Duties:
    • Perform all needed contract audits for DoD
    • Provide accounting and financial advisory services to DoD (and civilian when requested) acquisition and contract administration components during all contract phases:
      • Pre-award
      • Contract execution
      • Settlement (contract closing)


dcaa internet resources www dcaa mil
DCAA Internet
  • Audit Process Overview – Information for Contractors Manual
  • DCAA Pre-award Accounting System Checklist
  • DCAA Contract Proposal Adequacy Checklist
  • DCAA Forward Pricing Rate Adequacy Checklist
  • DCAA Incurred Cost Adequacy Checklist
  • Incurred Cost Electronically (ICE) Model
  • EZ-Quant - Suite of three statistical applications
  • Links to Acquisition Regulations


prior to contract award
Prior to Contract Award
  • Contracting Office or DCMA Conducts Preaward Survey to consider Responsibility of prospective contractor
  • Design of the Accounting System is part of the Preaward Survey (SF 1408 Criteria)
  • DCAA requested to evaluate design of Accounting System


preaward accounting system audit
Preaward Accounting System Audit
  • Evaluates Design of Accounting System to determine if it is acceptable for prospective contract
  • DCAA or Buying Command will request contractor complete Accounting System Checklist
  • Contractor should be prepared to demonstrate how accounting system satisfies SF 1408 criteria at initial meeting


after contract award

After Contract Award

DFARS 252.242-7006 (a) (1) Defines an Acceptable Accounting System as:

“a system that complies with the system criteria in paragraph (c) of this clause to provide reasonable assurance that—

Applicable laws and regulations are complied with;

The accounting system and cost data are reliable;

Risk of misallocations and mischarges are minimized; and

Contract allocations and charges are consistent with billing procedures.”


accounting system

Accounting System

DFARS 252.242-7006 (a) (2) defines a “Contractor’s system or systems for accounting methods, procedures, and controls established to gather, record, classify, analyze, summarize, interpret, and present accurate and timely financial data for reporting in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and management decisions”

May include subsystems for specific areas such as:

indirect and other direct costs





total contract costs

Total Contract Costs

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c)(2) requires

Proper segregation of direct costs from indirect costs.”

The total cost of a contract is the sum of the direct and indirect costs allocable to the contract.

While the total cost of a contract includes all costs properly allocable to the contract, the allowable costs to the Government are limited to those allocable costs which are allowable pursuant to Part 31 and applicable agency supplements.


direct cost

Direct Cost

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c)(3) requires Identification and accumulation of direct costs by contract;

FAR 2.101 Defines Direct Cost as “any cost that is identified specifically with a particular final cost objective.”

Direct costs are not limited to items that are incorporated in the end product as material or labor. 

No final cost objective shall have allocated to it as a direct cost any cost that has been included in an indirect cost pool.

Direct costs of the contract shall be charged directly to the contract.


indirect cost

Indirect Cost

Indirect cost means any cost not directly identified with a single, final cost objective, but identified with two or more final cost objectives or an intermediate cost objective.

An indirect cost is not to be allocated to a final cost objective if other costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances have been included as a direct cost of any other final cost objective.


indirect cost1

Indirect Cost

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c)(4) requires “A logical and consistent method for the accumulation and allocation of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives”

The term indirect cost covers a wide variety of cost categories and the costs involved are not all incurred for the same reasons


indirect cost2

Indirect Cost

The number of indirect cost accounts in a single company can range from one to hundreds. 

The indirect structure needs to be tailored to your company and how it operates.

In general, indirect cost accounts fall into two broad categories:

- Overhead

- General and Administrative


indirect rates

Indirect Rates

Examples of indirect cost rates include:

Material overhead

Manufacturing overhead

Engineering overhead

Site overhead


general and administrative

General and Administrative

These are management, financial, and other expenses related to the general management and administration of the business unit as a whole. To be considered a G&A Expense of a business unit, the expenditure must be incurred by, or allocated to, the general business unit. Examples of G&A expenses include:

Salary and other costs of the executive staff of the corporate or home office

Salary and other costs of such staff services as legal, accounting, public relations, and financial offices

Selling and marketing expenses


allocation base

Allocation Base

Indirect costs should be allocated based on benefits accrued to intermediate and final cost objectives.

Allocation base must be reasonable.

There must be a relationship between the selected allocation base and the pool costs.

For example, training costs in the overhead pool are not necessarily caused by a particular cost objective, but the cost objectives might benefit from the training of employees. In that case, training would be related and benefit the labor dollars incurred on contracts/final cost objective.


allocation base1

Allocation Base

In general, typical allocation bases for overhead and G&A are:


Direct Labor Dollars

Direct Labor Hours

Direct Material Dollars


Total Cost Input (Total direct and indirect costs minus G&A)

Value Added (TCI less subcontracts, and direct materials)

Single Cost Element (e.g. Direct labor dollars)


allowability far 31 201 2

AllowabilityFAR 31.201-2

A cost is allowable only when the cost complies with all of the following requirements:



Terms of the contract

Applicable Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

Any Limitations Set forth in Subpart 31.201-2


accounting for contract costs

Accounting for Contract Costs

The accounting system must be able to accumulate and report the costs for each final cost objective; i.e. government contract.

- Direct costs of the contract, plus

- Allocation of applicable indirect costs, less

- Unallowable Costs

For multi-year contracts, the costs should be attainable for each of the contractor’s fiscal years.


accounting for contract costs1

Accounting for Contract Costs

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c) requirements:

(5) Accumulation of costs under general ledger control

(6) Reconciliation of subsidiary cost ledgers and cost objectives to general ledger

(7) Approval and documentation of adjusting entries

(11) Interim (at least monthly) determination of costs charged to a contract through routine posting of books of accounts




DFARS 252.242-7006 (c) requirements:

(8)Management reviews or internal audits of the system to ensure compliance with the Contractor’s established policies, procedures, and accounting practices

(9) A timekeeping system that identifies employees’ labor by intermediate or final cost objectives

(10) A labor distribution system that charges direct and indirect labor to the appropriate cost objectives




Contractors should have written timekeeping policies and procedures. Procedures should address:

Accumulating and billing labor costs

Filling out and correcting timesheets

Processing payroll

Performing payroll and labor corrections/transfers




Labor should be charged to intermediate and final cost objectives based on a timekeeping document (paper or electronic timecards) completed and certified by the employees and approved by the employees’ supervisors.

Employees should fill out timesheet on a daily basis and include all hours worked.

Labor cost distribution records should reconcilable to payroll records and labor distribution records should trace to and from the job cost ledger and general ledger accounts.


unallowable costs

Unallowable Costs

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c) (12) requires “Exclusion from costs charged to Government contracts of amounts which are not allowable in terms of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures, and other contract provisions;”

Therefore, contractors need written policies and procedures to identify and exclude unallowable costs.

Unallowable costs need to be identified and excluded from any billings, claims, and proposals applicable to a Government contract.


costs by contract line item

Costs by Contract Line Item

DFARS 252.242-7006 (c)(13) requires “Identification of costs by contract line item and by units (as if each unit or line item were a separate contract), if required by the contract”

Therefore, the accounting system needs be able to expand beyond a project number.

Each job needs to be expanded to the requisite level of detail as determined by contract terms.

Make sure the contract is adequately briefed to determine what this level might be.




A contractor needs to be up to date on its submission of adequate incurred cost proposals in accordance with contract terms, if applicable.

A contractor needs to submit final vouchers within 120 days after settlement of applicable final indirect costs rates for all years as required by FAR 52.216-7(d)(5)


common deficiencies

Common Deficiencies

Contractors not making Interim (at least monthly) determination of costs charged through routine posting to books of account

Failure to properly segregate direct and indirect costs

Improper timekeeping

Failure to exclude unallowable costs